What Happens if I am Charged?
Impaired driving (DUI) and excess blood alcohol (Over 80) are common offences in the Canadian Courts. So even though you may be charged with one, or both, of these offences, you are not alone. If you are charged with impaired driving or Over 80, you license will be automatically suspended for 90 days. You will likely be released from the police station on a Promise to Appear which will include your fingerprint and next court date.
What Should I Do?
You should consult and retain an experienced counsel who will fight your case for you. The fact that you are charged does not mean that you will be found guilty. The Crown must prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, they must prove that you drove a vehicle in the preceding two hours while your ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired and/or with a blood alcohol concentration over 80 mg/100 ml.
How Can I Beat my Impaired or Over 80 Charge?
There are numerous potential defences to impaired and/or over 80 criminal charges. First, you may raise a doubt if you were the person operating the vehicle, or if your ability to drive was impaired by alcohol. Charter issues and defences are available when defending your case. All citizens have certain rights enshrined in the Charter, and the police must respect those Charter rights. Charter issues that may apply to your case are:
- Section 8: Did the police lawfully seize your breath samples? The Criminal Code of Canada is highly specific about the requisite standard and timing for seizing samples. If the police administer an approved screening device (ASD), or a breathalyzer contrary to the Criminal Code, it could be a breach of your section 8 Charter rights.
- Section 9: Although, the police are allowed to stop drivers for driving related purposes, when the investigation turns into a criminal investigation, and they detain or arrest a driver, police officers must meet specific standards such as reasonable grounds to suspect for a detention, and reasonable and probable grounds for an arrest.
- Section 10(a) and (b): When an individual is detained or arrested, they have the right to know why, but also the right to be advised of their right to speak with counsel. If the police fail to advise you of these rights and/or fail to implement your rights to counsel, it could be a breach of your section 10(a) and/or (b) Charter rights.
If your Charter rights were infringed by the police, you can apply to exclude evidence from your case such as the police observations, your statement to the police, or your breath sample (which is required to prove an over 80 charge).
If you or someone you know has been charged with impaired driving or Over 80, contact the lawyers of Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh to assist you.